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Advise Needed on New KDX Purchase

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Dec 29, 2003
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#1
I have narrowed my choice of bike down to either a KDX 200 or the 220. I have not found any threads that discuss the major differences between the two--can you respond?

Also, but very important, what is this about having to pull the top end to inspect the piston after breaking in a brand new KDX? Is this really necessary? I have done a fair amount of work on motorcycles in the past, but the last thing I feel like doing right after breaking a new bike in is pulling the top end for inspection. Any suggestions or experience?

Thanks in advance.

DCox
 
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#2
Hi DCox, the best place to start for some KDX answers are the first two threads at the top of this forum page. There is a lot of good helpful  reading there. :thumb:
 

Smit-Dog

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#3
The forum search function will also keep you reading for days... LOTS of great information available at your fingertips.
 
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#4
Thank you for the welcome! I spent hours last night reading most of the posts. What a vast array of experience to draw on! It made my decision much easier (i.e., KDX vs. KTM). I also found the answer to the diff. between the 200 or 220.

However . . . the only thing I found about whether people actually go ahead an pull their top end was on the technical portion where the author simple tells you why you might want to and then leaves it up to you.

What I really want to know is how many KDX owners out there actually follow through on this? I own a landscape/grading business and have purchased lots of new equipment (as well as purchasing motorcycles in the past) and this is the very first time I have ever heard of a manufacturer advising someone pull the top end right after break-in. It really sounds border-line bizzare--almost like an April fools joke.

So, again, I am curious how many KDX owners out there actually do this, and if not, what the failure rate has been from factory produced burrs in the cylinder.

Thanks.
 

BJH

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#6
Based on my opinion only (and I'am no expert). The KDX either in 200 or 220 form is the best woods/trail bike on the market for the money. The KTM may have a few edges on the KDX in bone stock form, but at a much higher cost. The KDX front suspension definately needs help (revalve and change springs). The power is easily increased by putting an aftermarket pipe on, and drilling or removing the airbox lid. Then you have a bike that will in my opinion be more enjoyable than the KTM at a much lower cost.
As far as which KDX??? The 220 is best if you spend most of your time in the bottom end grunting around on tight single track. The 200 is best if you expect to use a lot of midrange on more open trails. I chose the 220 an now I'm involved in boring the carb and piping the bike to have a 200 type powerband with more displacement. There is my amateur .02 worth.
 

Smit-Dog

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#7
After being on this board for a few years, I'd say that very few, if any, have actually pulled the top end after break-in. There are more important things to spend time on like steering stem/swingarm/linkage greasing, and suspension set-up.

There are some reported cases of stock pistons on 220s shattering prematurely, but those cases tended to be on bikes that had engine/intake/exhaust modifications. Do a search on this topic and come to a conclusion that you are comfortable with.
 
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#8
I have a '96 Kdx200. It is a great trail bike. I raced it in D36 Enduro's for 3 years with no real up grades(except FMF pipe). It will climb any hill that you throw at it, and it still has enough top end to keep you interested.
As for maintenance, when I opened the top end after 4 years it was it was like brand new except for come carbon build-up on the exhaust vavles.
The website to visit is www.dirtrider.net/justkdx/. This place has everything you will ever need to know about KDX's.
 

RTL

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#9
DCox, I live in Knoxville, TN. Noticed you were in GA, pretty close.. I can give you all the pros and cons of the 200 vs 220, as I spend numerous hours researching each before I made my purchase.. I went with the 200 even though I ride some tight, low end type trails...

Email me at rtlaforce@msn.com if you want more info.


Thanks.
 

Michelle

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#10
http://www.dirtrider.net/forums3/showthread.php?s=&threadid=75423&highlight=break+in (btw, my bike had a new top-end after break-in & had the burrs removed by the previous owner)

In that thread, CC points toward the article on the KDX site about 200 vs 220 (have you read it?)

A search for "break in" reveals 19 pages of threads, whereas a search for "top end" only revealed 2. Searching for "200 v 220" gives 19 pages.
There is heaps of info on this site, sometime you've just got to try a few different words to find the result you're after.

As the bike is unchanged since 1996, just because a post is 2001/2002, doesn't mean it's outdated ;)
Hope that helps some & all the best for the new year.
Michelle
 
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#11
Well, I am one who did it. I'm also the kind of person who likes to have the excuse to take things apart. ;) In my case, it was worth it because I found a hairline crack at the right rear stud in the case but that was pure luck. The piston/rings/cylinder looked just fine. Even my hairline probably wasn't that bad but I figured it was under warranty and I bought it new and I wanted it to be perfect. Would I do it again? Only if I knew I had a problem.

One thing I like about the 200 is that it can be overbored to 225cc and ported to take advantage the increased displacement. Do a search for Eric Gorr in the archives or www.eric-gorr.com. This is planned for when it's time to do a top end.

So far I've done the recommended maintenance to the rear suspension and linkage and set up the springs and valving to my weight and riding style along with the airbox lid and rejetting. Big difference and worth it. I've got my Scotts damper to put on still. Next year will be the RB-modded PWK Airstriker carb, Gnarly pipe, V-force2, and possibly the FMF TC II S/A.

Best tinkertoy for the $$ I've ever owned. ;)

Best,
Greg
 
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#12
I am on my fourth KDX--one 175 and 3 x 200's. I have never had the good fortune to be able to ride one enough to need to take the head off. Taking the head off after break in has never been my idea of necessity or fun. I am old and slow, but who needs the question of the piston coming apart on your bike. Opt for a 200 and modify it as you like and ride it whenever you can.
 

Michelle

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#13
Some clarity here:
The owners manual (i.e. not the workshop manual, but the green book we get with the bike) says:
"NOTE - After break-in, install a new NGK BR8ES spark plug and change the transmission oil.
For your reference: To keep optimum engine performance replace the piston rings with new ones after break-in." (pages 16 & 17)

The maintenance & adjustment chart says to check/clean the piston & piston ring every 600miles (1000k).
Then again, it says to clean the air filter ever 500k/300mi & change the oil every 1000k/600mi.
 
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#14
"For your treasures and pains I thank thee" (Henry V). Seriously, I am grateful for your help. I think I now have the hang of how to navigate this site and more info. is popping up with every new search (so Michelle's suggestions). I was up past 2:30am last night and acquired an eye-strain head-ache in the process, but scrubbing through these posts are fascinating to say the least. Once again, your info. really tipped the scales for me.

Now to wrestle with that 200 vs. 220 issue . . . .

Thanks again!

-DCox
 
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#15
"For your treasures and pains I thank thee" (Henry V). Seriously, I am grateful for your help. I think I now have the hang of how to navigate this site and more info. is popping up with every new search (so Michelle's suggestions). I was up past 2:30am last night and acquired an eye-strain head-ache in the process, but scrubbing through these posts is fascinating to say the least. Once again, your info. really tipped the scales to the KDX for me.

Now to wrestle with that 200 vs. 220 issue . . . .

Thanks again!

-DCox